Double success for UCLan
University scooped two prizes at the Educate North Awards 2023
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is celebrating after winning two major prizes at a prestigious industry awards’ event.
At the 2023 Educate North Awards, UCLan scooped the trophy for Best Entrepreneurial University and the Employer Engagement Award – University Sector for its Trainee Associate Psychological Practitioner (TAPP) Initiative.
The University’s culture of innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship runs through all areas of teaching and research and sits alongside a dedicated team which works with thousands of student start-ups and businesses within the region.
It works closely with a network of 1,700 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and champions student enterprise, the result of which has seen UCLan ranked top in the north of England for the number of student start-up businesses created.
The University also launched the Entrepreneurs in Residence scheme last year, in which a group of recognised industry figures mentor enterprising students, and it had a number of award-winning student/industry collaborations.
The judges said: “It is a significant player in the region with a scale of impact that is truly commendable. UCLan is on a journey to make a real difference for SMEs and entrepreneurs in the community through their strategic approach to business and stakeholder engagement.”
"I’m delighted our innovative and entrepreneurial endeavours have been recognised at this year’s Educate North Awards"— Professor Graham Baldwin, UCLan’s Vice-Chancellor
The new TAPP initiative is a ground-breaking collaboration between UCLan’s Psychology team, the Innovation Agency, NHS partners and Health Education England. They created a pilot training route for TAPPs in Lancashire, South Cumbria, Cheshire and Merseyside.
The innovative scheme, which has already won a number of industry awards, was designed to address the national shortage of NHS mental health staff, with the TAPPs providing psychological interventions and support to patients and community groups.
Training involves the delivery of a UCLan Postgraduate Diploma Associate Psychological Practitioner programme combined with workplace learning in clinical service. More than 130 psychology graduates have moved into the mental health workforce in the North West over the past two years, benefitting more than 1,000 patients to date. Due to the project’s success, the scheme has been expanded to Greater Manchester.
The judging panel commented: “An impactful project to address the national shortage of mental health staff. This initiative develops psychological support practitioners to care for those in most need of mental health support in the North West and NHS.”
The University was shortlisted for five Educate North Awards, which celebrate, recognise, and share best practice and excellence in the education sector from across the North.
Professor Graham Baldwin, UCLan’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “I’m delighted our innovative and entrepreneurial endeavours have been recognised at this year’s Educate North Awards.
“It’s fantastic our TAPP initiative has won another award, it’s a great example of real-world collaboration which is benefitting the health of many patients in the North West.
“Business and enterprise is one of our strategic research priorities, and entrepreneurial activity plays a huge part in that. This award recognises the breadth of the work undertaken and is great recognition for everyone involved.”
The event, which took place in Manchester, attracted hundreds of education professionals from Further and Higher Education institutions.